Let me preface this blog entry by saying…I should have read this about a month or so ago…when someone who I had started seeing turned our “relationship” upside down by making several accusations. However, as I learned in my “Healing Member Relationships” class this afternoon at work, the approach I took during our argument was probably not the best. Now, it’s not to say that the end result was my fault, but perhaps it wouldn’t have turned out so badly had I followed this one simple step: let him vent first. Yup, I’m quick to jump to “solution mode” and try to fix the problem. Why? I’m a people pleaser. I want things to be happy. I want things to be right. But you can’t always be right.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at Chapter 3 of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right. We start off by examining five standard personality types, and ending with the “ideal” personality type–a sixth one.
Note: Now keep in mind, this book was written for women seeking men. So the types and their attributes are feminine in nature, but I think there are definitely some parallels that can be drawn from them.
This person takes charge and often initiates the first contact with another man. And usually, this person ends up continuing the effort throughout the rest of the relationship. The problem here is that if you’re expecting a give-and-take relationship, it’s never going to happen…you’ll just end up taking care of children (and dating them).
The center of attention who is always in social situations with lots of friends. No one dares cross your path and you can even be demanding if you want. Some might consider you a bit high maintenance. A major issue here to address is the ability (or inability) to share the spotlight with others, and that includes your partner. You don’t want to go on through the relationship continually intimidating the other person.
The Desperate Bridesmaid
This person can be easily taken advantage of–because you will do anything to please your partner. And that person will always have the upper hand.
The Party Girl
You get the party started (and are probably the last one to leave, too). Although you may be quite the outgoing person, deep inside you’re emotional. You have to grow up a bit, because when the party is over, so is the relationship. This person needs to dress like a princess and act like a queen (how fitting).
The Girl Friday
We’re career girls…as in, that’s our life: work. Your personal life may be quite messy, but professionally, you are impressive and have your act together. The caveat with this particular one is that the authors specifically related it to having an office relationship, in that you are dating a coworker. I’ve never been in that situation, so I can’t really relate to it.
The Girl Next Door – The “Optimum” Personality
You give everyone you meet a smile and a kind word. Your kindness is genuine. Your laughter is infectious. You flirt, but you’re never crude about it. Most likely you have a large set of friends who love being around you and feel comfortable in your presence. They can sometimes be a little protective–though they have no problem introducing you to their friends. You always listen to what others have to say and answer genuinely. Unfortunately, there will always be those who will try to take advantage of your kindness.† Your honesty, however, is refreshing. So stick to it. Make him convince you that he’s Mr. Right. During that process, be true to yourself and seek out what you deserve.
So my question to everyone is: Which personality do you think best fits me? And please, be honest.
There were also a few tips that were shared in the chapter that I thought were quite relevant:
- Believe it or not, sound is preferred over silence when you’re “in the bedroom.” Give your partner a little “biofeedback” if you will. Trust me. It works.
- Learn to censor yourself–don’t always say the first thing that pops into your head when you’re on a date. I remember the first time I went on a date with this guy in Portland and he ventured into a few topics that I would never discuss on a first date: politics, religion and STDs. Yeah, he ousted himself from a second date real fast.
- He’s a keeper if he has no issues with your past. Any concerns he has about the life you led before you met him can be answered with the love and respect you’ve shown him since the day you met. If your deep dark secret doesn’t bother him now, it never will.‡
†I recently spoke to a man online who first was hoping to find someone who would “be generous” and give him $100. Apparently he was short the money for the prior month’s rent, and if he didn’t come up with the money ASAP, he was going to get kicked out of his place. When I asked questions to find out how he ended up in this situation, he stated that he had to pay child support, wasn’t getting paid as much as he used to, and had paid a fine when his car was impounded–and his car didn’t even work. When I replied that if he was a friend–someone who I knew and trusted–then I’d be happy to help, he then pleaded for smaller amounts of money: $50 and even $25. I told him that I just couldn’t do it–and that I would never “be generous” like he was expecting (in other words, he was willing to engage in a “quid pro quo” activity). What ever came of it? Well, when I sent him a message about a week later, asking how he was and if things had worked out (I figured something positive had happened, since he obviously had Internet access), he never responded. And still hasn’t. Glad I trusted my instincts. ‡As mentioned in the preface, there was a guy who I was seeing for a few weeks. After realizing that our relationship had been moving fairly quickly, and after observing that he needed to sort a few things out in his life, I discussed “dialing it back” with him. I thought we were on the same page…and for a little while, it seemed like it. But then, he started bringing up issues, in an attempt, I think, to try to 1) make me defensive of our relationship and 2) bring us back together. In other words, when he said, “Someone I talked to said we wouldn’t be good together and I’m not your type,” I believe he was looking for me to get on my white horse and charge into battle, attacking this outsider and his claims. But, instead, I tried to calmly collect the facts and figure out what the situation was, who it was, and what their motive might be. (Side note: a number of my friends think he made the story up.) Later on, he then attacked me–out of the blue–about my history. When I asked where this was coming from–and more specifically who–he wouldn’t provide any details, about the source nor the claims he was making. Instead, I was left trying to defend myself on incomplete accusations. When I later reflected upon the incident, I think I handled it fairly well, in terms of keeping my cool (he even attacked my grammar at one point: claiming I don’t know the difference between “their,” “there,” and “they’re”…I refrained from correcting the grammar in his poorly written text messages he was attacking me with). However, as I learned in my training class today, I should have probably let him vent first, defused the situation, and handle his emotions, before trying to “bring it back to business” and solve the issue: false accusations that were coming from mysterious sources. Lesson learned.